Stanley Clarke is a highly regarded jazz bassist most widely known for his work with Chick Corea and Return to Forever. However, his career is extremely varied, from cutting edge jazz to scoring movies. Clarke even wrote music for Pee Wee’s Playhouse, a 1990′s children’s show starring Pee Wee Herman. A comprehensive Wikipedia profile is here.
This is the start of an interesting interview with Clarke at the Arts App Blog:
Ehe xploding into the jazz world in 1971, Stanley was a lanky teenager from the Philadelphia Academy of Music. He arrived in New York City and immediately landed jobs with famous bandleaders such as: Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Pharaoh Saunders, Gil Evans, Stan Getz, and a budding young pianist composer named Chick Corea. (Continue Reading…)
Above is School Days, the title track from his first big album. Below, he Victor Wooten and Marcus Miller play Beat It in a tribute to Michael Jackson.by
Silver is a very influential pianist who played a form of jazz called hard bop, which perhaps should be explained before discussing Silver:
Hard bop is a style of jazz that is an extension of bebop (or “bop”) music. Journalists and record companies began using the term in the mid-1950sto describe a new current within jazz which incorporated influences from rhythm and blues, gospel music, and blues, especially in saxophone andpiano playing.
David H. Rosenthal contends in his book Hard Bop that the genre is, to a large degree, the natural creation of a generation of African-American musicians who grew up at a time when bop and rhythm and blues were the dominant forms of black American music.:24 Prominent hard bop musicians included Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis and Tadd Dameron. (Continue Reading…)
Here is the beginning of Silver’s AllMusic bio:
From the perspective of the early 2000s, it is clear that few jazz musicians have had a greater impact on the contemporary mainstream than Horace Silver. The hard bop style that Silver pioneered in the ’50s is now dominant, played not only by holdovers from an earlier generation, but also by fuzzy-cheeked musicians who had yet to be born when the music fell out of critical favor in the ’60s and ’70s.
Here is the beginning of jazz pianist Bud Powell’s bio at Wikipedia:
Earl Rudolph “Bud” Powell (September 27, 1924 – July 31, 1966) was a jazz pianist who was born and raised in Harlem, New York City. His greatest influences on his instrument were Thelonious Monk, who became his close friend, and Art Tatum. Along with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, Powell was a key player in the development of bebop, and his virtuosity as a pianist led many to call him the Charlie Parker of the piano. (Continue Reading…)
NPR’s bio is striking starts out in about the same way:
Powell pioneered the revolutionary bebop sound along with alto saxophonist Charlie Parker, trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, pianist Thelonious Monk, and drummer Max Roach. Pianist Bill Evans considers Powell the most underestimated figure in this elite group, though Davis himself called Bud “the greatest pianist in this era.” Bud’s playing always appealed to great musicians, and his rehearsals at home often drew a crowd of them. (Continue Reading…)
It wasn’t a happy life, however, according to the bios. Here is one at AllMusic:
A breakdown in 1951 and hospitalization that resulted in electroshock treatments weakened him, butPowell was still capable of playing at his best now and then, most notably at the 1953 Massey Hall Concert. Generally in the 1950s his Blue Notes find him in excellent form, while he is much more erratic on his Verve recordings. His warm welcome and lengthy stay in Paris (1959-1964) extended his life a bit, but even here Powell spent part of 1962-1963 in the hospital. He returned to New York in 1964, disappeared after a few concerts, and did not live through 1966. (Continue Reading…)
Eartha Kitt would have been 86 years old today. Above, she sings I Want to Be Evil, in a video that has one odd camera angle after another. Here is more on the sultry singer.by
Like so many folks who had stellar careers and have been around forever, Tony Bennett’s early story is filled with familiar names:
The young singer was discovered by Pearl Bailey in Greenwich Village and subsequently hired by Bob Hope in 1949. Hope advised him to take the name Tony Bennett (rather than the name he had been using, Joe Bari) and put him in his road show. Bennett told Billboard in 1997, “I’ve been on the road ever since.” He signed with Columbia Records in 1950 and started working with record producer Mitch Miller. His early hits included “Rags To Riches,” “Because of You,” and “Stranger in Paradise.” His most famous song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” was released in 1962 as a B-side on a single; it also earned Bennett his first Grammy award. (Continue Reading…)
Doing a post about Bennett without using I Left My Heart in San Francisco probably breaks some sort of law. It’s above. Bennett loves duets. An early and absolutely terrific one, with Andy Williams, is below. They sing The Gypsy in Me; My Kind of Town (Chicago is); San Francisco and I Left My Heart in San Francisco.
A funny bit of banter: Williams hears the first notes of Bennett’s signature song and says, “I know where we’re going…up north by the big bridge.” Bennett’s reply: “Where all the residuals are.”
Bennett’s site is here.by
Merry Christmas from The Daily Music Break.by
I was aware that Lalo Schifrin was a big deal in television theme songs. I did a post a while back in which it became apparent that he also was a serious jazz composer. This Blog Critics CD review posted at The Seattle PI, however, puts into context just how important and prolific Schifrin was:
Lalo Schifrin has had an amazing career in the fields of symphonic music, jazz, and especially soundtracks. Although his name may be more familiar to those of us who pore over soundtrack credits, I guarantee you have heard at least something by Lalo Schifrin. He has composed over 100 television and film scores, and a few of these include Mission Impossible, Mannix, Cool Hand Luke, Bullit, The Cincinnati Kid, The Amityville Horror, Enter the Dragon, four of the Dirty Harry films, and the recent Rush Hour trilogy. Believe it or not, even at over five hours of music, the new four-CD box-set Lalo Schifrin: My Life in Music barely scratches the surface of the composer’s incredible 50-year career.
While its true that films such as Enter the Dragon and The Amityville Horror were not known for their soundtracks, it is an incredibly impressive resume. Later on in the review, the writer discusses the respect Schifrin had in the jazz community, including several collaborations with Dizzy Gillespie.by